George N. Dove Award 2020

I am overjoyed and humbled to share the following press release from the Popular Culture Association of America. Winning the Dove Award means joining a roster of inspirational figures in the practice and study of crime writing, including George Dove, Pat Browne, Earl Bargainnier, Jane Bakerman, John Reilly, Al Hubin, Leroy Panek, Robin Winks, HRF Keating, Kathleen Klein, Julian Symons, Mary Jean DeMarr, Otto Penzler, Don Wall, Beth Foxwell and Margaret Kinsman, Douglas G. Green, Sisters in Crime, Juana Young and Nancy Ellen Talburt, Frankie Bailey, PD James, Catherine Nickerson, Eileen Roberts and Kate Charles, Maureen Reddy, Christine A. Jackson, JK Van Dover, Janet Rudolph, David Schmidt, and more. This is such an honour that I can’t quite believe it. I’d like to thank, in particular, another hugely influential figure: Marty Knepper, who nominated me.


The Mystery and Detective Fiction Area of the Popular Culture Association  


 May 8, 2020

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For further information, please contact Dr. Rachel Schaffer, Chair, Dove Award Committee, Mystery and Detective Fiction Area, Popular Culture Association ( or 406-657-2954).

J.C. Bernthal, Ph.D., Receives the 2020 George N. Dove Award for Contributions to the Study of Mystery and Crime Fiction

 Middlesex University scholar J. C. Bernthal has been selected to receive the 2020 Dove Award.  The honor is bestowed for outstanding contributions to the serious study of mystery, detective, and crime fiction by the Mystery and Detective Fiction Area of the Popular Culture Association.  The award is named for George N. Dove, one of the area’s early members, a past president of the Popular Culture Association, and author of outstanding presentations, articles, and books on detective fiction, especially the police procedural.

The 2020 award recognizes Bernthal’s prolific contributions to the study of mystery fiction in many different arenas. He is regarded as an expert on crime fiction in general and on the Golden Age of detective fiction in particular, with special emphasis on the work of Agatha Christie, whose literary stature he has done much to raise. Beginning with his dissertation, A Queer Approach to Agatha Christie, 1920-1952, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2016 as Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting Golden Age Detective Fiction, he has continued to publish on Christie, most notably McFarland’s Agatha Christie: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction, due for publication this year, as well as on a variety of topics for journals and edited collections. He is also an editor and co-editor of anthologies of interdisciplinary criticism in various stages of completion, including The Bloomsbury Guide to Agatha Christie, the first major reference book on Christie scholarship with thematic essays by major Christie scholars.

In addition to his academic writing and publishing achievements, Bernthal is also a poet, playwright, blogger, and fiction writer. He is an active conference and event organizer, as well, including an annual conference on Christie. He also serves on a variety of editorial boards, including Clues: A Journal of Detection and Crime Fiction Studies; presents conference papers; participates in other types of public speaking; and serves as a generous resource person, expert consultant, and spokesperson for other scholars and media projects. As a teacher and true Renaissance scholar, J. C. Bernthal has contributed in every way imaginable to the critical study of mystery and detective fiction.

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